Sunday, September 30, 2007

Parent-Teacher Conferences: The Role of the Montessori Parent

NAMC montessori parent role parent teacher conferences reading together

Lately, I've been writing about how we, as Montessori teachers, can best communicate with parents. Many of us, though, have children of our own, and can find ourselves on the other side of the table as Mom or Dad.

Those of us who are parents know that sinking, “pit-in-your-stomach” feeling when we get a message from our child’s teacher. We anticipate bad news, knowing that a message from a teacher usually pertains to behavior or schoolwork. We feel ourselves remembering how it felt to be a child, knowing that the teacher was going to call our own parents.

So, how do we prepare ourselves in anticipation of that face to face meeting? There are definitely ways to ensure that all parties benefit and I have provided a list of key areas to focus on.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Sunday, September 30, 2007.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Parent-Teacher Conferences: The Role of the Montessori Teacher

NAMC montessori prepared environment parent teacher conference the role of montessori teacher

When preparing for a conference with a child’s parents, keep in mind that a well-prepared Montessori environment is as important to parents as it is to children. When parents arrive in your Montessori classroom, they expect to see a clean, well-organized environment. After all, this is where their child spends the better part of his/her day.

For any teacher, it may be a little stressful when opening lines of communication for the first time. NAMC has put together a helpful list for Montessori teachers to better understand their role during a Parent-Teacher conference.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, September 27, 2007.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Montessori Philosophy - Communicating with Parents

NAMC montessori teacher child communicating with parents

I overheard an interesting comment the other day from a colleague: “The children would be fine if it weren’t for their parents.” Taken aback, I thought about the meaning behind those words and wondered, since I’m a parent, did that comment include me, too?

Parents are essential to a child’s learning.

Montessori parents truly care about the education their children receive, which is one of the reasons they have chosen a Montessori education.

Additionally, they are concerned with their children’s development, and the person whom their child will become. Montessori parents have usually done extensive research into various educational methods and observed in several schools and settings. Above all else, they value their children and are truly vested in their growth – socially, emotionally, physically, and academically.

It is important to a child’s development that the parent and teacher form a solid partnership. Montessori teachers will have more success by working with parents to educate them not only on the Montessori Method, but also on how best to work with you, their child’s teacher.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Monday, September 24, 2007.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Montessori Moments - An Inspirational Math Lesson

NAMC montessori moment student inspiration golden bead math materials
We all strive for it…that perfect, quintessential Montessori moment. Hours are spent preparing the environment. Lessons are practiced and perfected before being presented to our students. We read and re-read Dr. Montessori’s books in an effort to glean more insight into the method and philosophy that will transform our classroom into the perfect Montessori classroom. We agonize over how we can use our observation skills to monitor and adjust our own habits. And when that one, perfect Montessori moment happens, it’s enough to bring tears to your eyes at the joy, beauty, and simplicity of standing back and watching the children learn.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, September 19, 2007.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Montessori Classroom Management: Sometimes Students Will Be Hard to Handle

montessori teacher and students NAMC montessori classroom management
We've been in school for five weeks and today, the class seemed to fall apart. The noise level was off the charts and it didn't seem to matter how many times we rang the bell and asked for quiet voices, the volume level didn't fall. My assistant and I walked around our Montessori classroom, using our whisper voices, role modeling, and asking students to work quietly. It seemed like we were trying to put out a forest fire because we’d get one group of Montessori students working quietly, and another group would erupt in “outside” voices.

It wasn’t only in our Montessori classroom. One little boy punched another, older boy, in the stomach during recess. Although there were witnesses, the younger boy categorically denied it, while the older boy was standing there crying. After Spanish, SeƱora took me aside to tell me that one of my little girls couldn’t concentrate because she had a tangle in her hair; another played under the table during the Montessori lesson; another boy made repeated trips to the bathroom during the half hour lesson. The same boy from recess? He stuck his tongue out at another and the two of them ended up at the peace table during the Montessori lesson.

What in the world was going on?

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, September 12, 2007.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Goals of Montessori Education - Reaffirm Your Belief in the Method

"Our goal is not so much the imparting of knowledge as the unveiling and developing of spiritual energy." - The Child in the Family: The Clio Montessori Series, 1996: p. 63


girl shaking hands with NAMC montessori teacher the goals of montessori education

As parent night approached, I found myself in a conundrum of sorts. I had overheard parents talking to my assistant about what was happening in my classroom and questioning what I was doing. I am, after all, the new teacher. Unfortunately, I am the third new teacher this particular class has had in just two years. The parents are confused. After all, weren’t their children supposed to spend three years with the same teacher? The two teachers last year didn’t work out and they’re having difficulty believing that I will. Some are even upset that I’m allowing the children to have a choice of work in the classroom. They are “old school”, firm in their belief that their children need direction and to be told what to do at all times. How will they ever learn if I don’t give stringent guidelines and specific assignments?

With this knowledge in hand, I prepared myself more closely than I had in previous years.  What does a Montessori teacher do? Why do we teach Montessori? To me, it seemed like the ideal time to remind myself and the parents around me about the goals of Montessori education. I pulled out my Montessori books and course manuals. I re-read my own blogs and the writings of others. I emailed colleagues asking if I was right in my interpretation of the goals of a Montessori education. Here’s what I found:

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Sunday, September 9, 2007.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Three-Period Lesson: A Key Part of the Montessori Method Explained

NAMC montessori three period lesson explained teacher and girl
Montessori teachers use the term three-period lesson so often it becomes second nature. We forget that there are others who may not understand what a three-period lesson is. This was ever so clear the other day in a staff meeting where we were discussing basic Montessori classroom techniques. I glanced over at a new assistant who has not yet gone through training and I could see that she was clearly lost. So now, before we get any further into the school year, is a perfect time to review the concept of a three-period lesson.

The three-period lesson is a fundamental approach to introducing a new concept (not just vocabulary) to children. It is used to move the child from basic understanding to mastery.


As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Monday, September 3, 2007.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Montessori Teacher and Her Role: Learning More About The Method

NAMC montessori teacher presenting montessori teacher role learn about method
"The teacher, when she begins to work in our schools, must have a kind of faith that the child will reveal himself through work. She must free herself from all preconceived ideas concerning the levels at which the children may be. The many different types of children . . . must not worry her. . . . The teacher must believe that this child before her will show his true nature when he finds a piece of work that attracts him. So what must she look out for? That one child or another will begin to concentrate" (The Absorbent Mind, p. 276).

One of the most notable differences between Montessori teachers and traditional teachers is the enormous trust Montessori teachers place in the developmental abilities of the children. It takes a tremendous amount of faith to “follow the child”. It is so much easier to say to the children, follow where I lead and no one will get lost. Nonetheless, with careful observation and planning, Montessori teachers remain constantly alert to the direction each child is heading and actively works to help them succeed.

Montessori teachers are not the center of attention in the classroom. Their role centers on the preparation and organization of learning materials to meet the needs and interests of the Montessori children. The focus is on children learning, not on teachers teaching.


As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Saturday, September 1, 2007.
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As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.

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